Chalkboard Contemplation

Crescent Beach Breakwater

This post leads my thoughts to what is “productivity”. To be productive at what? Making widgets? Is this what we are here to do? Sure enough we need to earn our daily wage but I see being productive all about creation. What have you made today that makes the world a better place?

Here in Vermont there is an ethos of “re-creation”. Most places are not open 24/7 or sometimes even 12/6. Time is “taken” off to recreate. It is food for the soul and makes us productive in the true sense. Time to visit your Meeting or Church, work in the garden or community, play with your family and friends. Time just to think.

Does being connected to your phone and computer 24/7 make you “productive” in the true sense? Should making profits for business be the rule that guides society in what we hold of value? Quakers hold a testimony of simplicity. One way that this manifests is to simplify your life to “make” time for what is most important that is of value to you and to society.

Jnana's Red Barn

The sign beside the sidewalk halted us on our downtown stroll at sunset in a Vermont city:

OPEN 24/5.

A closer look added: “Closed Friday 3 p.m. to Sunday 3 p.m.,” or something like that.

I love it. Here was a restaurant willing to roll with America’s current obsession of high-productivity and of assuming a worker is always linked to the job (never mind that it’s leading to higher unemployment and greater insecurity) — at least here was a business that was also willing to insist enough is enough.Yes, I’ve been among the night owls and night-shift workers who might flock to a well-lighted place, so a round-the-clock refuge is something I could welcome. It’s the seven-days-a-week dimension I’m finding unsettling, that matter of squeezing a last dime out of the market, or at least away from a competitor.

Perhaps the restaurant’s owners observe a religious Sabbath or at least…

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One thought on “Chalkboard Contemplation

  1. christina cramer 06/26/2012 / 10:16 pm

    Ah….Crescent Beach, old friends, open spaces, long talks, nice memories. You’ve created another lovely painting, Roger.

    Creative simplicity….. what was dinner on Sunday, was recreated into soup for tonight, with a few additional spices and vegetables. I love to improvise in the kitchen and create as I go along. If I really like what I have made I’ll write down the ingredients I’ve used on a recipe card, but the challenge to create something new to eat usually wins. I’ve been giving away cookbooks I’ve collected and then my cousin, Jean is moving and she gave me two of hers. So I’ll pass along a few more soon. The challege is letting go of things held near and dear.

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